You’ve heard the expression: What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
Well, when it comes to a drinking and driving arrest in Vegas, that isn’t true. And it isn’t true in Jacksonville, or anywhere in Florida or in any state that takes part in what’s known as the Interstate Drivers License Compact, either. The agreement, which almost all 50 states take part in, provides that your own state will treat a DUI arrest in one state as if had happened in your own state. So, if you vacation in Florida and have too much to drink and are arrested on DUI charges, you can’t leave the state and leave all thoughts of the trouble behind.
The Interstate Drivers License Compact allows states to exchange information about traffic violations of non-residents. The theme of the program is “One Driver, One License, One Record,” so the DUI received in Florida will be applied to the driving record you have in your state of residence. Your state can assess points on your driver’s history for violations such as speeding. Your license can be suspended if you are found guilty of a major violation, including DUI. (The agreement doesn’t apply to minor incidents such as parking tickets or citations for tinted windows, for example.)
Both Florida and your home state could penalize you if you are convicted of a vacation DUI. You could owe double the fines, a fee from both states to reinstate a suspended license, court appearances in both states and a requirement for alcohol counseling in Florida. This is why if you are arrested on DUI charges while in Florida you can’t think it will go away when you leave the state. Consulting with an experienced attorney is key.